June brings us the midpoint of the year, which always seems to arrive so quickly. This year, Father’s Day takes place on Sunday June 20th. This holiday gives us the opportunity to celebrate and honour the men who have embraced the vital role of fatherhood.
I wanted to share these nuggets of wisdom, imparted by different men who have helped shape my perspective.
1) The Value of Prayer
My father had some very simple rules that we had to abide by. Most importantly, we had to go to the temple every Sunday. I remember asking him about other religions and he said, “Every religion’s destination is god. Each religion just used different modes of transportation - some walk, some bike, some drive, others fly or arrive by boat. Ultimately the destination is all the same”. In retrospect, I am grateful for the practice of prayer that he helped teach me. Not everyone believes in a higher power, but this practice gave me solace during the pandemic and it also brought our family closer.
2) Adopt a Worldly Perspective
My father’s second rule was that all 10 kids had to watch the nine o’clock news in English. The evening news in Singapore was delivered every hour on the hour as of 6pm. Each hour, the news was delivered in a different language: Chinese, Malay, Tamil and then English at 9 o’clock. My father was adamant that we became aware of current events. This scope of understanding has served me to adopt a worldly view and appreciate the vastness and beauty of the planet and the people who populate it.
3) Keeping Snarly Out
When Aaron was three years old, my father-in-law Leo generously offered to stay with us during the week to provide childcare. That way, Steve and I could focus on the business. One morning, Aaron woke up and was in a snarly mood. Leo told him that he should go back to bed and get up on the right side of the bed. Aaron trodded along back to his room and bed and came back out with a “good morning papa” and “how are you?”. What an easy fix to a snarly mood. Leo taught us all that if you get up in a “snarly” mood, please go back to bed and wake up on the right side of the bed.
4) You Keep Smiling!
My mother-in-law’s husband Harvey is always happy. His nieces have even nicknamed him ‘Uncle Happy’ and I can see why. Every time we visit, when it comes times to leave, he tells me: “you keep smiling”. Harvey always has a sunny disposition and lovely to be around.
Here’s to a summer of worldly views, keeping snarly out and smiling in!
Image Courtesy of Docksteader Subaru
The weather is gorgeous. As soon as travel restrictions within the province loosen, it’s time to hit the road! Car camping is a very popular trend, as it’s a quick, convenient and comfortable way to explore the great outdoors. Car camping is simply the style of camping where you can drive to the campsite. It allows campers to load their vehicle with all the luxuries they typically wouldn’t pack onto their backs to hike into a campsite.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your car camp sojourn:
1. Don’t Pack Light!
The real beauty of car camping is that you don’t need to pack light. Not sure you’ll need the camp chair? Bring it! Doubt you’ll want that second bottle of wine? Who cares - throw it in the back! Everything you could potentially use can be loaded into the mobile storage unit you brought with you.
2. Turn off the lights!
Flick the switch on the interior lighting to make sure the light isn’t turning on every time you open the door. The last thing you need is a drained battery when you’re in the middle of nowhere! And remember to carry jumper cables, just in case.
3. Food Storage
Just because you brought the car, doesn’t mean you can toss your food in a tote and go. It’s better to carefully plan your meals and bring coolers for the perishable items. Make sure you’re storing your food in the car, so critters don’t come a-callin’.
4. Sleep in the Car
Tenting not your thing? Bring an air mattress and plan to sleep in the back of your vehicle. This camping style comes with its own set of challenges, but with the right equipment, this can be a blissful and extremely convenient experience
What’s more traditional of Father’s Day than some BBQ and beers with Dad, especially if he’s wearing a garish apron. A BBQ with your family is a tried and true way to honour the Dads in your life. And it’s an easy to socially distance around a grill. Here are some tips for making sure Father’s Day doesn’t get smoked out.
1. Get you grill nice and hot! Try to heat your grill at least 15 minutes before you start cooking. Not only will this kill any bacteria, but it will allow for optimal caramelization, and therefore optimal deliciousness.
2. Don’t fiddle with your food! I know it’s tempting, but it won't be more delicious because you’re moving it around. If you are flipping meat, try to only flip once! If the meat is sticking to the rack, just hang tight When it cooks a little more, the meat will come off easier.
3. If you’re serving a small crowd (fingers crossed!) keep it simple. With limited cook space on the grill, managing different cook times can be difficult. Try to make side salads and other dishes in advance to keep things simple on the day. Don’t forget to enlist Dad’s help. Just because it’s his day, doesn’t mean he can’t man the grille!
4. Soak chicken in salt water for 24 hours before grilling for the juiciest BBQ chicken I have ever tried!
Let us know what your favourite summer grilling tips are! Follow us on Instagram at @greenngreengifts and GreenNGreen on Facebook.
This past long weekend, my son Aaron headed out to Prince George for a summer job. I am excited for him, as he loves Prince George and gets to hang out this summer with his friends. In his absence, I have the opportunity to reflect on the man he has become, in large part due to the father figures in his life. I am able to reflect on all the threads it takes to weave a beautiful blanket that passes on from one generation to another. The blanket includes fibres from my dad, my two father-in-laws and, of course, Steve.
One time, a cashier mistakenly gave Steve too much change. Steve shared this experience with Aaron, and they had a long, open conversation about the best way to proceed. They both offered many thoughts and ideas and ultimately Steve described how he helped the cashier figure out the mistake and corrected it. That day, he taught our son about honesty and accountability.
Sprinkle this summer with some worldly perspective, get snarly out, and remember that honesty is the best policy. Honour the men who helped raise the next generation with love and care.
Happy Fathers Day!